Fall 2017 400-level Linguistics Courses

Fall 2017 400-level Linguistics Courses


LING 402/ANTH 490: Endangered Languages – Judy Pine, Ph.D.

MWF 2:30-3:50

prereq – LING 310

This class explores the current scholarship with a focus on concepts associated with Reversing Language Shift, and the context within which language shift and responses to language shift occur.


LING 402/ ENG 436: The Structure of English - Kristin Denham, Ph.D.

TR 10:00-11:50

prereq - LING 310 

This class provides an overview of the fundamentals of English syntax. You will become familiar with the basic syntactic organization of English, including syntactic categories (parts of speech), heads and phrases, subordination, coordination, modification, and complementation. The approach to grammatical structure will be descriptive; we will explore and describe (using current linguistic terminology) our intuitive knowledge of language. The (scientific) approach to grammar, and to syntax more specifically, will be different from the more familiar “school” approach, in which you learn grammar and usage rules in order to speak and write “correctly.” Rather, what you learn in this course will provide you with important tools of critical analysis to make your own informed decisions about grammar and usage. Along with our study of the structure of English, we will explore public perceptions of grammar (what constitutes a grammatical “error:” attitudes about “good” and “bad” language; notions of “standard” versus “non- standard” English, and more). This course, then, will not only introduce you to the fundamentals of English sentence structure, but will also provide you with an important context for the study of grammar, its influence on other areas of modern thought, and the study of language more generally.

Required text: Navigating English Grammar: Analyzing the Syntax of Real Language, by Anne Lobeck and Kristin Denham. 


LING 402: Psychoacoustics - McNeel Jantzen, Ph.D.

MWF 10:00-11:20

prereq - LING 310

This is a multidisciplinary course, that will provide you with a solid understanding of auditory processing by examining sound from within linguistics, psychoacoustics, and cognitive neuroscience.  The aim of this course is to offer students an understanding of the broad physical, physiological, and cognitive issues related to sound production and listening. Students will learn how speech and music signals are transformed from physical activity in the environment, to sensations in auditory sensory system, to psychological perceptions in the brain. The relationship between a sound and its perception will be discussed in terms of the underlying mechanisms and the limitations of our hearing system. Topics will include a description of the auditory system and neural pathways; signal detection and discrimination; masking; temporal resolution; pitch, timbre, and loudness perception; sound localization; auditory scene analysis; and speech and music perception.  

Required Text:  Auditory Neuroscience: Making Sense of Sound by By Jan SchnuppIsrael Nelken and Andrew J. King.  MIT Press.  (The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and in ebook formats).


LING 431: Discourse Analysis. “What Is Discourse, Anyway, and Why Should I Care?” - Catherine McDonald, Ph.D.

MWF 01:00-02:20 pm

prereq - LING 310

Question: where do your beliefs and values come from? You might say from your thoughts, feelings, faith, or environment—and while those are true, there is a hidden factor not usually credited. Bold claim: What if I told you that our beliefs and ideals, our politics, even our worldviews, are governed by—strangely enough—the way we talk about them?

This section of Ling 431 is an examination of discourse. We’ll ask how words make meaning in the world— linguistically, socially, rhetorically, and grammatically.  As one scholar says: “Discourse analysis is the study of language-in-use. Better put, it is the study of language at use in the world, not just to say things, but to do things” (Gee). Another puts this way: “The study of the ways in which character and community—and motive, value, reason, social structure, everything, in short, that makes a culture—are defined and made real in performances of language” (White).

We’ll do a lot of reading, discussing, thinking, writing, rethinking, rewriting, and collaborating. You’ll apply the theories we’re studying to real interests you have in the world.